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by Paul C. Dahm
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water, and sunshine and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body begins to quiver.
Suddenly, he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together...
On June 13, 1992 I put my 14 year old Norwegian Elkhound, Rusty to sleep. He suddenly became very ill and was in excruciating pain from an huge, inoperative tumor. I couldn't imagine life without him, but in turn I knew my selfishness was no excuse to allow his agony. I wanted him to leave this world in my arms while looking into my familiar eyes. I just couldn't bear the thought of him wondering where I was at a moment when he was probably the most scared he's ever been in his entire life. So, my mother and I stayed with him and held him tenderly as he took his last breath and closed his eyes.
Rusty, we all love and miss you dearly -Melanie J Viegas